Keystone Blog


24 November, 2016

All applicants for admission to an Oxford degree course involving History must sit the History Aptitude Test (HAT), which is designed to assess a broad range of skills.  Students can often feel a little uneasy about the test at first, as it is very different from A level examinations.  To help make the HAT a less daunting prospect, I have compiled the following introductory guide to what the test entails and how best to prepare for it.

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27 October, 2016

A brief summary of which subjects require aptitude tests is below but make sure to check on the Oxford and Cambridge University websites which will have the latest information as well as specific advice and recommendations. Oxford Listed below are the aptitude tests used by Oxford for popular courses. Please note that if you are studying a combined subject, you may have to sit two tests and it is worth checking this on the Oxford University website.

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7 October, 2016

Keystone Tutors were featured in today's edition of the Times Educational Supplement. The article focussed on the growing trend amongst teachers to move to private tutoring as an alternative career. Click here to read the full article.

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3 October, 2016

‘What shall I do when I leave school?’ is just one of a number of important questions students make during their final three years at school. But, it is one that they shouldn’t feel daunted by as this is an exciting time and, typically, the final step in their formal education. The most salient point to remember is that there is a spider’s web of people from whom they can seek advice: teachers, parents, friends and even current university students.

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25 August, 2016

It’s that time of year again and here is some advice to help you to navigate GCSE results: Keep Calm! For some unknown reason (!) results days tend to imbue a certain sense of anxiety or even panic.

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19 August, 2016

Originally, the 7+ was designed for girls who traditionally mature older than boys, for whom the 8+ was designed. Recently, some boys’ schools have started using both exams. We would recommend opting for the 8+ if your child is a slow developer, giving another year to grow in confidence and prepare for assessment.  Remember that failure at this age can be damaging to confidence, so unless your child is a robust character trying the 7+ first may not be wise.

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17 June, 2016

Many parents are often stuck between choosing A-Levels or IB for their child. Here is a nifty table that clarifies the key differences.   A-Level IB Course Length AS Levels are a one-year standalone qualification.  A Levels are a two-year standalone qualification.

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14 June, 2016

We're delighted to support a new nature-based creative course launching this July.

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27 May, 2016

Dear Parents, Welcome to our Summer Newsletter from all of us here at Keystone! We know from personal experience how dreary and unwelcome most newsletters are, but we hope you forgive these quarterly missives from Keystone with their abundance of useful and stimulating information. What’s inside this newsletter? Although many exams are now underway, we thought some parents might find Jenny’s post on last minute revision strategies helpful.

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24 May, 2016

The wide variety of different schools can often be overwhelming and one of the toughest decisions is whether to opt for day or boarding. Listed below are five reasons why parents choose day schools instead of boarding schools.  1. Expense  Boarding schools now come at a vast expense. An analysis by the Good Schools Guide shows that the average annual cost is £27,600, before allowing for any extras. In comparison the average day schools cost £11,709 per year.

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4 May, 2016

WHY is the Personal Statement important?  The personal statement is a 4,000 character (one page) document in which you have the opportunity to show admissions tutors that you are ideally suited to study your chosen course at undergraduate level. The lion’s share of a UCAS application is formulaic (e.g.

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11 April, 2016

Keystone has been a pioneer in online tutoring, successfully conducting thousands of hours of online tutoring sessions over a number of years. In this post, experienced online tutor, Daniel Glorioso answers frequently asked questions about online tutoring. Keystone has also put together a video on online tutoring in which you can see lessons in action. Please let us know if you have any other questions not covered here.

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14 March, 2016

Dear Parents, Spring tidings to you and the family, and welcome to our Spring Newsletter! With the exam season almost upon us, we thought that some parents might want to look at our top tips on effective revision strategies. We also have a few spaces remaining on our Common Entrance revision courses, as well as our GCSE and A-Level study skills courses over the Easter holidays.

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7 March, 2016

Whilst Keystone does not encourage piling too much pressure on to yourself or your child, it is important to recognise the importance of the 11+ exams. For most children, it is their first ‘proper’ exam and can have a significant impact on at least the next seven years of their lives. As a rule of thumb, Keystone recommends one year of proper preparation for the test although in some circumstances it may be prudent to start a little earlier.

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31 January, 2016

One topic often discussed in my conversations with parents is the impact of technology on family life. Context – how common is technology in children’s lives? The pervasiveness of technology in children’s lives is undisputed. The Connected Kids Report last year showed that children aged 5 - 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen, compared with around three hours in 1995. (UK adults spend even more time).

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19 January, 2016

We are delighted to report that a Keystone student has recorded the fantastic achievement of obtaining an A in IGCSE despite his being only 13 years old – a full 3 years before the intended age for GCSE. Approximately 0.05% of students even sit the exam at this age, let alone achieve an A. Whilst living abroad and attending a bilingual school, Thomas started online Maths lessons with Keystone Tutors.

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18 January, 2016

Parents often ask us which books their children should be reading. In some respects, it’s the wrong question to ask – are there any books children shouldn’t be reading? – but with children’s free-time seeming ever to shrink, there is certainly merit in searching out the best.

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10 January, 2016

Parents often ask us which books their children should be reading. In some respects, it’s the wrong question to ask – are there any books children shouldn't  be reading? – but with children’s free-time seeming ever to shrink, there is certainly merit in searching out the best.

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In the press

Times Educational Supplement